BCC High School CollegeTracks Team

Ms. Aja Simpson Zulfiqar
Program Director

Ms. Patty Olszewski
Assistant Program Director

Scholars and Families: 
Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is one of the first steps in securing financial aid to attend college. We can help you and your family complete your FAFSA accurately and on time. 

You can start filling out the FAFSA on October 1st! You and your family can start by gathering the documents you will need to complete the FAFSA. 

To make an appointment & get started on the process today:

Click here to book your appointment online!



Olivia Y.
What activities are you involved in at BCC?
I'm part of International Club which highlights the different cultures in BCC and seeks to find out more about the world. 

What's been the most surprising part of the college application process?
The most surprising part is the amount of essays we all have to complete.  Some essays ask you about typical things such as why you would want to go to the school and other questions are super abstract.

What are you interested in studying in college?
International affairs/global studies.  The world is such an interesting place and I would like to learn about other countries' cultures and governments besides the U.S.

What would you like to do in college that you don't do now?
I would honestly like to join the volleyball team and travel more.

What advice do you have for other CollegeTracks students?
My advice is to actually use the calendars that CollegeTracks gives you.  The dates serve as deadlines so you accomplish what you need to do on time and get ahead of the curve.  


Ms. Catherine Clifford

Describe one interesting fact about yourself.
Because my father consulted in international aid, I was born in Paris, traveled sporadically to much of Europe and Mexico as a child, and went back to Paris for two years before college.  Sadly, I don't get to travel much anymore and am VERY no-longer-fluent in French.

What are your hobbies?
I am an avid swimmer and hiker; a cross-word puzzle addict; an enthusiastic, mediocre artist of thankfully-ephemeral chalk boards and cake decoration; a world-class bargain hunter and yard-sale aficionado; and a reader who already owns more books than I could finish in my life.

What is your current/past career? Describe your career journey.
I was a history major, worked in college libraries, and temped as a researcher for the BBC.  At Self Magazine, I worked my way up to writer, senior writer, and senior editor, then left to become a freelancer.  I was a stay-at-home mom for many years, which I consider to be a serious and wonderful job.  I've written and edited for probably 25 national magazines and have loved my career, not because it made me rich or powerful or famous (it didn't) but because I love learning new things, and working with words and information.

As you research your college application deadlines, you will see terms like "Early Action" and "Early Decision."  Although the names sound similar, they are very different. Use the chart below to distinguish the differences and apply by the appropriate deadline! If you have any questions about the difference, stop by CollegeTracks!

             EARLY ACTION
If accepted, student is 
not r equired to attend the college. Student receives early notification of acceptance and is free to apply to other colleges.
If accepted, student is  promising to attend   the college.  Student has not received a financial aid package at this time.

  • Email us your college essay draft for review and feedback
  • Request transcripts be sent to colleges
  • Complete your Self-Reflection
  • Complete your resume
  • Request recommendation letters from teachers; after they agree, add teachers to Naviance
  • Continue working on your Common Application
  • Continue working on your Coalition Application if you are applying to University of Maryland-College Park
  • Create an FSAID for yourself and one parent
  • Schedule your FAFSA appointment
  • Identify 4 scholarships that you can apply for

Schedule an appointment with CollegeTracks TODAY!

University of Maryland, College Park's 
priority application deadline is on 
Wednesday, November 1st.
You will need to apply using the Coalition Application!

University of Maryland, Baltimore County's
early action deadline is Wednesday, November 1st.
You will need to apply using the Common App!

To attend a visit, log on to your Naviance account and follow these steps:

1.  Click on the Colleges tab
2.  View college visits list (link on right-hand side)
3.  Click sign up
4.  Print the confirmation page
5.  Get the confirmation page signed by your teacher and take it to the college visit  

The following colleges will be visiting BCC 
next week. 
  • Franklin & Marshall College              Mon. Oct. 2   4th period
  • UCAS universities (York, Warwick)  Mon. Oct. 2   7th period
  • Colby College                                     Wed. Oct 4    5th period
  • Stevenson University                         Wed. Oct 4   7th period
  • Boston University                               Fri. Oct 6      2nd period
  • Johns Hopkins University                   Fri. Oct 6      7th period
  • St. Mary's College of MD                    Tue. Oct 10   7th period
  • Lafayette College                               Tue. Oct 12   2nd period
You all are working hard on your college and scholarship essays...keep up the great work! 

CollegeTracks is happy to review and edit your essays. It helps us a lot when we know some info about your essay.  


Email or share your essay with us and we will give you feedback within 48 business hours.

When you send us your essay, please answer these questions and attach your essay to the email/share it on Google:
  • What is the essay question?
  • Which draft is this? (1, 2, 3, Too many to count)
  • What is the word count?
  • When is the essay due?
  • What is the essay for? (college, scholarship, something else)
Here's how it works:
  • Copy and paste the questions above and answer the questions in the body of your email/GoogleDoc.
  • Attach your essay or Google share (from your personal email account) with polszewski@collegetracksusa.org
  • We'll review your essay and put feedback on the Essay Cover Sheet
  • When we're finished, we'll let you know. You can pick up your edited essay in your yellow student folder
We're looking forward to reading your incredible essays!


Michael F., Sandra L., and Kaleb Y. were selected for the Lazarus Leadership Program.  They spent more than 200 hours this past summer building their leadership skills.  They planned and implemented projects that served local children in three areas:  access to athletics training, building global awareness, and high school preparedness.

CollegeTracks commends you for your dedication and accomplishments!


 Let Ms. Aja or Mrs. Olszewski know if 
you're applying for any of these scholarships! 

NAME:  AES Scholarship
DUE DATE:  October 6, 2017
AMOUNT: $500 
ELIGIBILITY:  Minimum of a 1,000 word essay. Open to High School Seniors and all students attending a post-secondary educational facility.
M ORE INFO:  Click here

NAME:  Coca-Cola Scholars 
DUE DATE:  October 31, 2017
AMOUNT:  200 students receive awards of $1,500, $1,250, or $1,000
Grade 12. A minimum of 3.0 GPA at the end of their junior year 
of high school * U.S. Citizens; U.S. Nationals; U.S. Permanent Residents; Temporary Residents (in a legalization program); Refugees; Asylees; Cuban-Haitian Entrants; or Humanitarian Parolees
MORE INFO: Click here

NAME:  Zombie Apocalypse 
DUE DATE:  October 31, 2017
AMOUNT:  $2,000
ELIGIBILITY: Must be age 13 or older, grades 9-12. Be currently enrolled (or enroll no later than the fall) in an accredited post-secondary institute of higher education. Be a resident of the (50) U.S. States or the District of Columbia.
MORE INFO:  Click here


Stevenson is the third-largest independent university in Maryland, with more than 4,100 students pursuing bachelor's, master's, and adult undergraduate degrees.

Ninety-three percent of Stevenson graduates found a job or continued their education within six months of graduating.

Stevenson has two campuses - one in Stevenson, MD (Greenspring campus) and one in Owings Mills, MD (Owings Mills campus).

Stevenson has nearly 50 student clubs and organizations that range from academic interest to social activities and 27 Division III athletic teams.

  • Round of applause to Seniors for juggling school work, jobs, and college applications!
  • Thank you to the BCC counselors for all their efforts in supporting students.
  • Shoutout to all the Seniors who are attending Fall Workshops!
  • Thank you to the CollegeTracks volunteers for their continued dedication to student success!